RSVP for #CevaHoliday Twitter Party!

Ceva Animal Health has sponsored this post and the upcoming party, but all opinions are my own. We all know that the holidays, for all its fun, can also be stressful for us and our pets, whether…



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DogTipper

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Win A Christmas Dog Pin!

I can’t believe it’s already November–and we’re sliding into the holiday season! Maybe it’s because it was nearly 90 degrees earlier this week, but it has taken me by…



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DogTipper

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Giving the Gift of Fun: A Child’s First Bicycle

Giving the Gift of Fun: A Child's First Bicycle

This post is sponsored by Huffy; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I vividly remember being 5 years old and walking downstairs on Christmas morning to find a powder blue bicycle with a white basket and big red bow under the tree, and feeling completely overcome with joy. Santa really had heard my wishes and pleas and brought me my dream gift. I rode that bike for years, with training wheels and without. Eventually, my little sister rode it too. Countless memories from my childhood involve my precious powder blue bicycle – from group neighborhood rides on summer nights to swooshing through the fall leaves to joyfully riding it with my best friend in our city parade. Of all of the gifts I received as a child, that bicycle is one that remains strong in my memory as something that stood the test of time, and was treasured through multiple phases of my young life. And since I first became pregnant with my now four year old daughter, I could not wait to give her the same gift of fun that I received so many years ago.

Essley has had a mini practice bike for a while now, but last month, she began asking for a “big kid bike.” She told us she was going to put it on her wish list for Santa Claus, “circled and with a lot of stars around it.” Since then, she has been doing extra chores, helping with her little brother, and working hard (of her own accord) to prove to us and to Santa that she deserves her big kid bike. And while I know from my own experience that there is little better than spotting your very own bike under the tree on Christmas morning, we decided that we were going to give Essley her holiday wish a little early this year.

We chose this Huffy 12” EZ Build Bike (for ages 3-5), and after she cleaned both her bedroom and the family room the other day, asked her to walk into the family room and close her eyes, and then yelled “Merry Early Christmas!” I’m not sure I’ve ever heard her scream so loudly, or jump up and down so high. It was honestly more wonderful than I can put into words, seeing her eyes light up and then watching her experience pure joy and excitement as we built the bike together.

One of the things I love most about the Huffy EZ Build bike is that the assembly is so simple, you and your kids to do it together. Essley really enjoyed the process (and I enjoyed how quickly it was finished); for her, it was part of the fun. And thanks to the EZ Build technology that is only available from Huffy, she was out the door and riding down the sidewalk in minutes.

I also love how the Huffy EZ Build Bike is durable, comfortable, and made to grow with your little ones. Essley used to complain about the seat on her smaller bike hurting her, but says this one is “extra comfy.” The frame is high quality (made of steel), and the bike features a quick release seat that is easy to adjust as your child grows. It’s also a great bike for learning to ride, with a single speed and coaster brake. And lucky for us, it’s also very affordable. Winner all around!

Watching Essley’s face as she feels the exhilaration of learning to ride her new bike around the neighborhood and experiencing that sense of freedom and pure joy brings back the most incredible childhood memories for me – including that moment when I spotted my first bicycle under the Christmas tree. There are endless toys and games and gadgets we can choose to give our children as gifts, but to me, giving a bike is truly giving the gift of fun. And when it comes to gift giving, I can’t think of anything better than that.

(P.S. We heard that Santa will be picking up another Huffy EZ Build bike at Walmart – where they’re available – this holiday season to give to Essley’s little brother on Christmas Day. Shhhh… )

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day | Facts to Know

The Origin of National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day Her name was Reveille, and like her moniker (which translates from French as “wake up”) the legacy of the dog agility competitor who…



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DogTipper

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Compassion Through Fashion: My New Favorite Tees

This post is sponsored by forevery. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

Making compassionate choices with my dollars is incredibly important to me. As my regular readers know, I owned and worked as the head designer for an eco-friendly and socially responsible womenswear company for almost 15 years, so any brand that works hard to benefit humans and/or the environment is dear to my heart. And while I eventually closed my own line to focus on Bubby and Bean, making responsible decisions when shopping for clothing – without sacrificing style – remains a priority. It’s also something that I strive to teach my kids through example.

This, my friends, is why I am smitten with forevery, an apparel line where all proceeds go to The Global Orphan Project. I very rarely write entire posts professing my love for a brand, but when I find one that I really, truly love – especially when it’s a brand that makes a difference in the world – you better believe I’m going to share it. I actually heard about forevery before they launched, and basically counted down the days until I could order one of their seriously stylish, buttery soft tees. I pretty much live in tees, so that alone was enough to motivate me to order. The fact that all proceeds from the sale of their tees go to helping kids in need sealed the deal.

I ended up ordering two t-shirts: the Unisex Do Good Tee in Powder Blue, and the Ladies Future Tee in Heather Gray. Their softness is like no other, and both the unisex and ladies styles are perfectly cut and look fantastic dressed up or down. I own and wear a lot of t-shirts, but these top the list in terms of both quality and comfort. Made with love by forevery makers in Haiti (every time you buy a forevery t-shirt you are helping to provide a living wage job opportunity for over 200 employees there!), each tee is a dream combination of 50% recycled polyester, 25% US-grown cotton and 25% rayon. I have two more in my shopping cart as I type this for holiday gifts for Robbie. You can also use my code BUBBYBEAN to get 10% off your first order!

Clearly I’m enamored with the style aspect of forevery t-shirts, but it’s the fact that purchasing helps at-risk kids that makes me want to buy up their entire stock. 100% of the profits (yes, all of them) from these tees goes to provide for children in need in Haiti, India, Uganda, Lebanon, the United States, and beyond. Both of my little ones love my forevery shirts because they’re so soft, but they also know that when I bought them, I was lucky to be able to help out other kids in the process. I explain to them often how not all kids have nearly what they do, and that it is up to us to do what we can to help those who need us. When we buy forevery t-shirts, we are helping to give other kids the chance to go to school, access to food and medical care, places to live, and more. My kids know that we can make a difference even through what we choose to buy and wear, and I am genuinely proud that even at their ages, they want to support companies like forevery. It’s honestly amazing how easily little kids grasp the concept of compassion, and it’s inspiring how naturally it comes to them to want to help others – especially other children.

If you love comfy, chic tees as much as I do, or you have a friend or family member who could use a new t-shirt (who couldn’t?), please check out forevery you guys. What they do is so important, and something the world needs more of right now. And let me know which one you end up ordering!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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I have an 80lb pit/lab mix. He has been a handful …

I have an 80lb pit/lab mix. He has been a handful to walk on a leash. I have tried almost every type of harness and collar with no luck. I finally tried the prong collar and have had amazing results.

But recently my dog has been able to break the links apart if he sees something he wants. I purchased the largest/strongest prong collar available. Does anyone have any suggestions about what I should do?
BAD RAP Blog

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Bonus Friday Funny: Witness Protection

The caption on this reads: “This was her hiding spot after chewing up her dog bed.” I can’t see her, can you? Hoping this weekend brings you zero reasons to hide! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Active Fun for Indoor Cats

Just because your indoor cat doesn’t prowl the neighborhood, chase birds, or get daily walks or trips to the dog park, doesn’t mean it’s okay to be a cat potato. It’s easy to create a virtual playground for your cat inside the walls of your home.

  • String theory — Sad that the string came out of your hoodie in the wash, but now you have a perfect cat toy. Or the ribbon off a gift, an old shoe lace. Amazing how swirling in the air or in the ground can send your cat scampering after it.
  • Roly poly — Cats may not be built for games of fetch, but roll a tennis ball or sock ball to them and watch them bat it around, and maybe even chase after it if they knock it across the floor.
  • Free climb — Like toddlers, cat see the world based on how they can climb it. If your home allows, give them safe, sturdy levels to climb freely—like stools, window seats or ledges, or secure shelves—without you worrying about them knocking important things down.
  • Kibble on the move — Cats are natural predators so one way to keep the brain and their body active is finding new spots to put their kibble. Try dividing the food you’d give your cat for one meal into three different bowls and put them in different spots where your cat can hunt them down.

In addition to the physical activity, make sure your cat’s diet matches his or her lifestyle. Indoor cat food is formulated with fewer calories, knowing that indoor cats aren’t quite as active as outdoor, plus it has fatty acids to keep their skin and coat shiny, even for life with an HVAC system that could dry them out. And if you think your cat may already need to lighten up a little, try a nutritious healthy weight cat food that helps them feel full but has fewer calories than regular cat food.

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What A Good Boy!

That face! That pose! He’s clearly model material. Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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What’s the Difference Between Vegetarian and Vegan Dog Food?

My GBGV Life with Halo Garden of Vegan dog food

Photo credit: My GBGV Life

There are a number of vegan and vegetarian dog foods out there on the market, and sometimes it can be hard to tell who’s who in the zoo! Some specifically point out meat-free recipes with titles including “vegetarian” or “vegan,” while others avoid doing so. Let’s take a quick look at the differences between them.

What is vegetarian food?
In the context of food, the term vegetarian indicates that the product contains no ingredients produced directly from animal flesh or organs. However, the term is relatively loosely applied, and there may still be animal-derived ingredients used. When reading the ingredient list, it is easy to determine if animal products such as eggs are included in the diet. Some other ingredients, however, are less easy to identify as originating from animals, and may be included in vegetarian products:

Ingredient: Derived from:
Albumen Eggs, milk, blood, muscle
Casein/caseinate Milk
Choline bitartrate Eggs, blood, milk (plant and synthetic forms also exist)
DHA and EPA Fish oil (unless specified from algae)
Gelatin Mammalian cartilage, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues
Methionine Egg, milk (synthetic forms also exist)
Vitamin A Fish liver, pig liver, egg (synthetic forms also exist)
Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) Sheep skin
Whey Mammalian milk

What is vegan food?
Unlike the term “vegetarian,” which was defined by the Vegetarian Society as relating to a diet, the term “vegan” was defined by the Vegan Society as a way of living. Thus, in the context of dog food, plant-based (meaning a product containing no ingredients derived from animals at all) is a more appropriate term. Plant-based products use only non-animal, plant-derived, or synthetic ingredients to provide all the nutrients required. Sometimes, a plant-based product will be labelled as vegetarian, but a quick check over the packaging will typically reveal the word “vegan” and often a statement that the product contains no animal ingredients.

Are there advantages of one diet over the other?
Benefits of vegetarian or vegan diets depend on the reasons for choosing a meat-free diet. Some dogs with dietary allergies and sensitivities are fed meat-free diets, as dietary allergies are most common to protein in the food. A vegetarian diet may not be ideal for these dogs, as they may still react to animal proteins within the diet, with dairy and egg being two of the most common canine allergens. Other dogs are fed meat-free diets in accordance with their parents’ life philosophy. Considering that vegetarian diets still contain ingredients derived from animals, these are unlikely to be considered appropriate by those pet parents.

Where dog health is concerned, there are no recognized benefits of vegetarian diets over vegan or plant-based ones. Commercial dog foods formulated in accordance with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) contain all the essential nutrients in the amounts recommended according to the industry’s current guidelines. There are no recognized benefits of particular ingredients, per se, provided the nutrient profile is met, and plant-based dog foods meet those nutrient profiles by using non-animal, plant-derived, and synthetic ingredients.

What are synthetic ingredients in pet food, and are they healthy?
Though the term “synthetic” makes an ingredient sound like it was cooked up in a laboratory by a mad scientist, really what the term often refers to is biological synthesis of the nutrient by strains of bacteria or yeasts in culture. Synthetic ingredients are indeed safe and healthy and are used widely throughout the pet food industry, not just in plant-based dog food. For example, taurine, a ?-aminosulfonic acid, is very heat labile and most is lost during pet food processing. For cat diets, and many dog diets, synthetic taurine is then added to the diet to account for processing losses.

How do I choose a plant-based diet for my dog?
If you are perusing the aisles at your local pet store, the first thing to do is to check on a product’s packaging to find a statement of nutritional adequacy in accordance with AAFCO. This is the most important step for ensuring that the diet is formulated to be complete and balanced for your dog’s life-stage – that is, puppy growth or adult maintenance. On the other hand, if you are doing a bit of reading around which diet you want to choose, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association has a very handy guideline on how to select the best food for your pet. This provides a number of questions that can be asked of a pet food company to determine your confidence in their product.

For more information about plant-based dog food, have a look at Halo’s vegan pet food page: or checkout Halo’s vegan FAQs and see the section on “Vegan for Dogs.”

Take care, and enjoy your next meat-free meal!

Dr. Sarah DoddDr. Sarah Dodd is a veterinarian with a special focus on companion animal nutrition. Her studies have taken her around the world living in England, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, the United States of America and Canada – where she currently reside with her three happy rescue dogs Peppa, Dottie and Timmy.

She graduated from veterinary school in 2016, since then she has pursued her passion in nutrition with a clinical nutrition internship and a Master’s degree at the Ontario Veterinary College. She is currently completing her nutrition residency with the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition and enrolled in a PhD studying plant-based diets for pets.

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